Jordan’s king swears in 13 new Cabinet ministers

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The royal palace says Jordan’s King Abdullah II has sworn in 13 new Cabinet ministers, enlarging the government as part of promised reforms.

The long expected reshuffle is the first since Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour took office on March 30 following parliamentary elections hailed as the centerpiece of palace-led reforms.

Wednesday’s change excluded major posts, including foreign affairs, interior and finance.

It brought in two women, raising their number to three.

The palace said multiple portfolios held by serving ministers were divided among the newcomers.

The Cabinet now has 27 ministers, including Ensour, who also serves as defense minister.

Abdullah’s reforms come amid the violent upheavals brought by the Arab Spring, which toppled four longtime leaders.

The Jordanian reforms also allowed for public assembly and dissent — previously outlawed acts.

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